The pursuit of happiness is considered a basic human right and one of the key principles that is used to determine a person’s quality of life. Health and happiness are considered to be inseparable. Research has shown that happiness can also be one of the keys to prolonging life. So where does that leave you if you have been recently diagnosed with a lifelong disease that is manageable, but not curable such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or another condition?
When you are first diagnosed, the focus will be on grasping all of the life changes that have to happen in order to manage the condition. There will be a flurry of physicians appointments, dietary changes, new medications, and figuring out how to integrate daily exercise into your already busy life. All of this comes as a shock, but there is something that they almost always forget to tell you. When you are diagnosed with a life-changing condition, you will grieve.
Everyone has a blueprint about how they think their life should go and when real life does not meet the expectations of the blueprint, it is a loss every bit as real as losing a loved one. The key to learning to cope with the changes and live a happy and balanced life is to allow yourself to grieve. Then, you must come to the realization that life is not over, it just did not go as planned, just as with any other loss.
Life will go on and you can still do many of the same things that you did before you were diagnosed, as long as you follow the advice given by your physician to manage the condition. Before you were diagnosed, you had good days and bad days. You had days when you felt your best and were on top of the world, and other days when this was not the case. You will still have good days and bad days. The diagnosis does not change that.
American culture promotes the idea that happiness is something you pursue, but the truth is that you can almost always find happiness in the moment, it’s not something that will only become available in the distant future. Sure, there are lifestyle changes, but every major phase in our lives has changes. Think of all the changes that you went through when you got married, got divorced, went to college, had children, or started a new job. This change is no different and you will adjust.
This is a new chapter in your life and there are some things that you can do to maintain your happiness and adjust to this new lifestyle. Here are the top three things that you can do.
Find A Support Group
You need to know that you are not alone. There are many who have learned to adjust to these changes in their lives and may offer support and advice that can help you live a happy life, even though you have a health challenge. Finding an illness support group that includes both professionals and patients is one of the best things that you can do to live a happy and long life.
Allow Yourself to Grieve
The best way to handle these changes is to allow yourself to realize that you have experienced a loss and allow yourself to grieve. One of the challenges that many people face is that they do not allow themselves to grieve and they get stuck in it as a result. This is a goodbye to your old expectations about how life should be and you need to allow yourself time to process these changes.
See This As An Opportunity
Before you were diagnosed with diabetes or another life-changing condition, you probably were already aware that you needed to find ways to improve your diet and exercise. If you are like many, changing your lifestyle may have been something you wanted to do, but you could not find a way by yourself. Now you have a support team and a greater motivation to do it. This could be the opportunity for you to live your best life ever.